It will be a bittersweet day for Murray Kingsley when he closes the door to his pyschology practice for the final time.
The 73-year-old opened the city's first private psychology practice - Genesis Consulting - in Warrnambool 30 years ago.
Dr Kingsley ran the business alongside fellow psychologist Denis Shackell before his retirement in 2006.
He said he had made the difficult decision to close his doors.
"It's been an enormous privilege," Dr Kingsley said.
Over the years he has witnessed great changes in the way health practitioners treat people with mental health issues.
Dr Kingsley previously worked at Brierly pyschiatric hospital and was part of a group of health professionals who pushed for - and succeeded - in moving to a community mental health service.
"It was to avoid the perils of isolation and seclusion - all the things that went with being locked up in a ward," he said.
Dr Kingsley began his career as a teacher in Melbourne.
The positive impact a visiting psychologist had on a student was the reason behind his decision to become a psychologist.
But it wasn't an easy road.
He worked full-time while attending night school to finish his schooling and become a qualified psychologist.
Dr Kingsley said he decided to open a private psychology practice because he had been surprised the city didn't have one.
"I was aware of the need for a private practice," he said.
"GPs were desperately looking for somebody they could refer people who didn't necessarily need to see a psychiatrist to."
Dr Kingsley said he was pleased society had come forward in leaps and bounds with regard to the stigma associated with mental health issues.
In his early days of practicing he also had a number of clients who sought advice about how to address their sexuality because of previously-held community views about same-sex relationships.
Dr Kingsley said there was a shortage of psychologists in rural areas four decades ago and it was still an issue.
"The demand has always been high," he said.
"I've been fielding requests from a lot of people in the past few weeks - some who are pretty desperate."
Dr Kingsley said he had also offered support to a number of Vietnam veterans in his years as a psychologist in Warrnambool.
First responders, including police, paramedics and firefighters have also often sought help over the years, he said.
Dr Kingsley said another time in his career that was incredibly rewarding was when he was involved in an intervention program for youth referred by the court system.
"We were building canoes with a small number of disengaged youth referred by the courts," he said.
"We had enormous success."
Dr Kingsley believed the success was due to the fact the youth were "engaged with a psychologist by stealth".
His career was almost cut short when Dr Kingsley was involved in a motor vehicle accident.
In 2011 he was driving his motorcycle along the Great Ocean Road.
Dr Kingsley said he recalls a car on the wrong side of the road ploughing towards him.
"I saw the car approaching," he said.
"I couldn't go any further to my left than I did because there was a cliff.
"At that moment I had the realisation that you don't ride head on into a car and walk away."
Dr Kingsley recalls the impact.
A short time later he woke up on the road surrounded by people trying to help.
"I remember the incredible gratitude I had waking up on the road and realising I was alive."
Dr Kingsley was rushed to Geelong hospital with a suspected broken neck.
Incredibly, his injuries were relatively minor.
"I call myself blessed," he said.
However, in the months following, Dr Kingsley began to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The accident triggered memories of witnessing the death of Australian cyclist Russell Mockridge at age 7.
Dr Kingsley said he was on a bus that collided with and killed the elite cyclist, who was competing in a road race.
He said people needed to be aware of the symptoms of PTSD, which can include irritability, social withdrawal and physical symptoms such as nausea and shaking.
Dr Kingsley said he was looking forward to enjoying spending time with his wife Kate when he retires, along with his grandchildren.
His former partner, Dr Shackleton, also has found memories of being able to support people experiencing issues while the two were in private practice together.
"It was a very rewarding career," he said.
Last month South West Coast MP Roma Britnell spoke about the Victorian mental health system in parliament.
She said the system was in desperate need of more funding.
She spoke about the need for more beds, more health professionals and more funding in parliament this week.
Ms Britnell said she was contacted by a high number of constituents seeking advice on services they could access.
"When we have a medical emergency, when somebody has a diabetic episode or a broken leg, we see that as a health emergency," she said.
"When somebody has a mental illness breakdown, we do not have the same emergency services and people are left in desperate situations."
Ms Britnell said a Portland resident wrote to her about her experience with the health system.
The resident said there was a lack of services available for people experiencing mental health issues.
"As a person experiencing the receiving end of these services I can assure you that they are lacking," she said.
Ms Britnell said there was a desperate need for more health practitioners.
"Access to services in the regions is so dire," she said.
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